Breaking Infrastructure Funding Down So You Can Build Up
AmericaWalks Updates: Grant Winners and Walking College
Black History Month - Equitable Mobility, Do We Have What It Takes?
Pittsburgh in the Spotlight - "A City Built On Walking"
LTAP Presents a Brief Intro to Active Transportation
What's In a Word? Induced Demand
Infrastructure Insights From the Interwebs

There's been a lot of talk about funding for infrastructure, but it's been hard to get specifics until now. Get ready to get overwhelmed with specifics! The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes hundreds of programs (literally hundreds) addressing -- like the title advertises -- infrastructure and jobs. A decent number of those programs are directly related to Active Transportation (around 10).

You can review the compendium of all the projects here. And the DVRPC put together a good round-up of the regionally relevant ones related to transportation here. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, whose articles leading up to the passage of the bill last fall were very helpful, has a page chock full of links, references, and analyses, as well as a full length webinar reviewing the law, linked at the button below. Remember that their focus is primarily on trails, though not exclusively so -- after all trails need to be part of networks to reach their full potential.

The WalkWorks grant round opens shortly, but communities shouldn't feel constrained to look just to our program for funding. We encourage former grantees working on implementation and future ones just starting to seek planning monies to cast their nets broadly. It's always a good call to look to expand your familiarity with funding sources and this presents great new opportunities to do just that!
AmericaWalks just announced this year's Community Change Grant awardees which include three communities in Pennsylvania and one that is a WalkWorks Affiliate -- congratulations Schuylkill County VISION!

In the same message AW also announced that applications for this year's Walking College cohort are now being accepted. Those applications are due by the end of February (or so, it's not a precise deadline). You may recall that in December we shared the Routes to Trails Map developed by PA Walking College alum Kathy Bednarek for the Luzerne County Transportation Authority. Walking College supports walking advocates as they look to deepen their commitment and expand their scope and impact, with enrichment, mentoring, and a structured peer cohort.
Black History is American History. We hope you have learned something new this month related to the racial history of this country. Maybe you taken the opportunity to listen to a podcast about the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War? That was an era that has often received minimal attention in history books that found it inconvenient.

In addition to scrutinizing the country's past, we also need to examine our present, including our transportation systems and our own organizations. To that end, the Center for Neighborhood Technology out of Chicago and Community Science recently published a new Tools for Equitable Mobility Practices Guide. The guide provides information about six different agencies' approaches to equity in transportation. For many of our organizations, though, the cautions outlined on pages 4, 5, and 6 of the Guide may be most critical. They go over the prerequisites for using the rest of the guide and warn that proceeding further without an adequate internal foundation may be counterproductive. In that spirit, we should all be seeing where we stand on this equity journey and taking appropriate action.
Smart Growth America has put together videos showcasing exemplary Complete Streets Policies and Practices in different parts of the country, including one focused on Pittsburgh. Check out their short program looking at how Complete Streets in the city are critical to improving public health. It's just over 8 minutes long. After you watch that one, you may want to check out the ones about Tucson, AZ, and Louisville, KY.
The PennDOT Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) team will be offering a short form webinar on Thursday, March 10, from noon to 1, to introduce people to the basics of Active Transportation. To have success with active transportation planning, we need to first understand what it is and which non-motorized transportation modes we need to plan for. The session will also emphasize the various benefits of active transportation such as health, equity, and safety as well as the vulnerable users that could benefit the most from active transportation. Are there people in your community that you are hoping to get on board with promoting and enabling active transportation, but you worry that they need to get up to speed first? This is a great opportunity for them to get a quick primer on the subject. It is free and open to anyone and very easy to register for.
In discussing all the new infrastructure funding, we may at times betray some ambivalence about the changes ahead. That is in part owing to some less-than-visionary aspects to the IIJA. We are definitely in danger of building a LOT more highways. "Woohoo! New highways!" you may be thinking. Not so fast! Literally. Too often we build lots of new lanes and after a brief honeymoon of reduced congestion and free-flowing traffic, suddenly we find ourselves back to square one, just on a wider, super-congested roadway. The wider roads basically invite more people to drive, returning things to a congestion equilibrium. This is thanks to a phenomenon called Induced Demand or Induced Travel.

Wikipedia explains it with reference to economics: "after supply increases, price declines and more of a good is consumed. This is entirely consistent with the economic theory of supply and demand; however, this idea has become important in the debate over the expansion of transportation systems, and is often used as an argument against increasing roadway traffic capacity as a cure for congestion... City planner Jeff Speck has called induced demand 'the great intellectual black hole in city planning, the one professional certainty that everyone thoughtful seems to acknowledge, yet almost no one is willing to act upon.'"
Once again, let's consider our priorities. Are we really devoting an appropriate amount of space, energy, time, effort, and money to the mode of transportation that brings people health and happiness? A cursory glance says maybe not.
Waste of Space!
Even in the foreground, bike parking takes up a fraction of the visual space of a parking lot for the same number of cars receding into the background. And which parking area would be more pleasant to hang out in?
Opportunity Cost!
Whether you merely consider the personal financial impact or you look at the societal impact of so much labor going to support cars, it's a lot. It comes at the cost of other ways people could participate in life and the economy.
Safe travels near and far!
Sam Pearson
M: 781.366.0726
PA Walkworks | Website